Value recovery from waste biorefinery

THURSDAY 19 JULY 2023 / 10:00 - 12:30 (GMT+2)
Luca Alibardi, Cranfield University (UK)
Aldo Muntoni
, University of Cagliari (IT)

The concepts of bioeconomy and circular economy aim to create sustainable societies with limited environmental impacts and extensive re-use and recycling of resources and materials. Although these concepts are different in their origin, they have in common a strong focus on sustainability, bio-based products and biorefining.
Synergies and trade-offs between the bio- and the circular economy are possible and advisable. The circular economy in fact still relies on the use of finite, abiotic resources while the bioeconomy can deliver a more effective use of organic waste and residues and avoid the need for additional land for biomass production.
The concept of waste biorefinery and the development of innovative processes such as biohydrogen production are key elements of the implementation of the circular bioeconomy. The webinar will deliver an overview of the synergies between the circular and the bioeconomy for waste management, a discussion of the potential for biorefinery implementation for organic waste treatment and a review of the opportunities that biohydrogen production can open in the sector.


1. From bioeconomy and circular economy to circular bioeconomy: role of waste management
2. The concept of waste biorefinery
3. Focused discussion on hydrogen from waste


Dr Alibardi is Lecturer in Separation Processes at the Water Science Institute of Cranfield University (UK). He holds a degree and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Padova (IT). Dr Alibardi’s research interests centre on the development of separation technologies and systems integration to lead on the transition towards the circular and hydrogen economies. He is active in the definition of the role of hydrogen to decarbonise the wastewater sector and on the development of the concept of biorefinery for the waste management sector. He works the area of energy recovery systems from wastewater network to understand the wider impact of these systems and on the use of coarse separation systems as an alternative to conventional membranes to develop combined membrane-biological processes to sustain the production of added value products from waste materials.

Dr Alibardi is Centre Manager of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe - www.cdtwire.com). He is also Co-Leader of the Task Group on Waste Biorefinery of the International Waste Working Group (IWWG - www.iwwg.eu).

Aldo Muntoni is full professor of Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil-Environmental Engineering and Architecture of the University of Cagliari, Italy, where he teaches the academic courses of Contaminated Sites Recovery and Remediation and of Soild Waste Management. He has been chairman of the PhD programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (EEST) and in Geoengineering and Environmental Technologies of the University of Cagliari. His main fields of interest are solid waste management, energy and material recovery from waste, hazardous waste stabilization, soil and sediment remediation. Author and co-author of more than 250 scientific papers published on international and national journals, international and national books, proceedings of international conferences. Reviewer for international journals. Responsible for several International and National research projects. He received awards, including the “National Energy Globe Award” in 2010 for research on combined production of hydrogen and methane from biodegradable waste.